Swans fly through to historic AFL prelim

·2-min read

Sydney coach John Longmire has urged his young Swans to embrace the moment after they surged into a home AFL preliminary final at the SCG.

The Swans are just one win away from securing their first grand final berth since 2016 after upsetting reigning premiers Melbourne by 22 points - 14.7 (91) to 10.9 (69) - at the MCG on Friday night.

They will have the week off before hosting a preliminary final at the SCG for the first time since Tony Lockett's famous after-the-siren point in 1996.

Even during Sydney's grand final seasons of 2006, 2012 and 2014, they hosted their preliminary finals at the Olympic Stadium at Homebush.

Sydney triumphed over the Demons for the second time in 2022, even as star veteran Lance Franklin was completely shut out of the game by All-Australian defender Steven May.

After missing finals in 2019 and 2020, many experts predicted the Swans would be years away from contending for another premiership.

But through a mix of classy experience and vibrant youth, Sydney are suddenly in reach of their first flag since 2012, Longmire's second year in charge after taking over from drought-breaking premiership coach Paul Roos.

Longmire believes the Swans have learned plenty from their heartbreaking one-point elimination final defeat to cross-town rivals GWS last year.

"I was really disappointed we lost last year in the first week," Longmire said.

"I just think you've got to take your moments, age profile or not, you've got to work out what works for you and the players hopefully believe that.

"Whether they're first-year players, second-year players, third-year players or Lance at 18 years, we've got to do what works."

Versatile defender Robbie Fox always believed the Swans could bounce back quickly after finishing 15th in 2019 and 16th in 2020.

"Externally, probably written off, but internally we knew what we were developing," Fox told AAP.

"We had a lot of players leading the way and then the young boys developing every day.

"It's not too much of a surprise we've been able to get back up."